Gurdjieff, George Ivanovich (gûrjēfˈ, –jĕfˈ) [key], 1872–1949, Armenian spiritualist and author. After spending years traveling, Gurdjieff settled in Moscow (c.1913). He fled the Russian Revolution (1917) with a band of followers, settling in Fontainebleau, France, where he established the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man (1922). He taught that ordinary people could attain a higher state of awareness and take control over their lives. Disciples in the United States organized the Gurdjieff Foundation of New York (1953) and a similar group in San Francisco (1958). His writings include Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson (1950) and Meetings with Remarkable Men (1963).
See studies by K. Walker (1980) and J. Webb (1980).